The following can be attributed to Lindsay Miller, Staff Counsel for the ACLU of Illinois:
We welcome the announcement that the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice will close the detention facility at Kewanee due to a falling population at the youth center. The ACLU of Illinois always intended our consent decree with the IDJJ (RJ v. Jones) not only to address the services that juveniles receive in facilities like Kewanee, but also to cause the Department to re-examine whether they need to detain so many young people. Clearly that re-examination is yielding results.
With the decision to move youth out of Kewanee, we are hopeful that the IDJJ will now have more resources to improve services and conditions for young people at the remaining five (5) facilities, and to provide necessary services to youth offenders in their own communities. We hope that this is just the first announcement regarding the closing of a youth detention facility, and that we can move to a day when Illinois detains fewer juveniles in far-flung parts of the state.